1. To investigate patterns of tobacco, cannabis, and other substance use in adolescence and early adulthood

  2. To identify risk factors for substance use initiation that can be targeted in regulatory efforts to reduce adolescent substance use

  3. To examine the consequences of initiation of tobacco, cannabis, and other substance use early in life

  4. To evaluate the impact of changing regulatory policies on patterns of tobacco, cannabis, and other substance use



Southern California Children’s Health Study (CHS)

  • Participants in the CHS were first surveyed regarding tobacco and other substance use in Spring 2014, when they were in 11th/12th grade (N~2100). Since then, we have completed 3 additional follow-up waves; data collection is planned annually through 2022.

Happiness & Health Study (H&H)

  • Participants in H&H were recruited in 9th grade from 10 high schools in the Los Angeles metropolitan area (N~3400). Data were collected every 6 months through high school, and we have completed one additional wave of follow-up post-high school. Data collection is planned annually through 2022.

Trends in Tobacco Use Study (TITUS)

  • Recruitment for participants in the TITUS study is currently underway. We are recruiting 9th graders from 6-8 high schools in the Los Angeles area, and will survey participants annually through high school.


Adolescent Research on E-cigaretteS (ARES)

  • The ARES study has recruited 60 vapers to participate in qualitative interviews to learn more about initial experiences with vaping, transitions to other types of products, and reasons for e-cigarette use.



Richard Miech
Monitoring the Future: Drug Use and Lifestyles of American Youth
JUUL is a brand name for a recently-emerged class of vaping devices known as “pod-mods” that resemble a USB drive, and media reports highlight anecdotal stories from students, parents, teachers, and superintendents indicating rampant youth use of these products. Currently unknown are the national prevalence of JUUL and other pod-mod use among youth, the optimal questions to survey youth about these devices, and information on the associated use patterns, beliefs and perceptions that are needed to inform regulatory policies.  To address this gap, we propose to piggy-back questions about JUUL and other pod-mods on to the Monitoring the Future survey, which every year samples separate, nationally-representative samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students for a total of ~45,000 student surveys per year.

1U54CA180905, NIH/FDA
Adam Leventhal and Mary Ann Pentz (PI)
Tobacco Regulatory Science at the Intersection of Products with Populations
This Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) proposes to provide a collective body of evidence that addresses e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing approaches hypothesized to increase attraction to and use of tobacco products in the population of non-users, predominately constituted by youth and young adults. Through 4 independent research projects, we propose an agenda of methods development and research that will help to assure that the activities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reach the diverse groups at risk for nicotine addiction and the adverse consequences of tobacco use.
Role: Multiple Project Director (mPD) for Project 3

27-IR-0034, Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)
Jessica Barrington-Trimis (PI)
Vaping Nicotine and Cannabis in Adolescence and Early Adulthood
The goal is to test the “catalyst model” of the impact of vaping on the drug abuse burden of adolescents and young adults populations, and rule out the possibility of a “common liability model,” assessing vaping of two drugs of abuse – nicotine and cannabis. We will also identify which particular product features are predictive of vaping initiation (particularly among low-risk youth) and should be targeted in regulatory policy.

1K01DA042950-01, NIH/NIDA
Jessica Barrington-Trimis (PI)
Understanding Transitions from Vaping to Smoking Across Adolescence
The goal of this mentored K01 proposal is to evaluate the risk of transition from e-cigarette use to regular cigarette use and dependence among adolescents, and to examine the influence of the social environment and sensory-pharmacological response to vaping in moderating these transitions.

08/01/2015-07/31/2019 (no-cost extension)
1R21HD084812-01, NIH/NICHD
Rob McConnell (PI)
Diacetyl in e-cigarette flavorings: Acute and subacute pulmonary effects
This time-sensitive study will evaluate the adverse respiratory health effects associated with flavoring components in sweet – flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, or ‘electronic cigarettes’), which have recently been shown to contain chemicals harmful to the lung. Chemical toxins in ENDS flavors are potentially major public health hazard because of the widespread use of ENDS (particularly among adolescents and young adults), and the established severe and irreversible lung disease that results from inhalation of these respiratory toxins.
Role: Co-I

NA, USC Undergraduate Research Associates Program (competitive renewal x3)
Jessica Barrington-Trimis (PI)
Undergraduate Fellowship in Tobacco Product Use and Dependence in Adolescence and Early Adulthood
This project supports the involvement of undergraduate students in ongoing research to investigate factors associated with e-cigarette use and transitions between different substances.